If you missed our part one post you can read it here .... It will help part two make a lot more sense. I feel there are two main stereotypes that are placed on the mom and pop bridal stores that are unfair and often times untrue. I can only really tell you what I see from my perspective and what is true in my store. I know that not all boutiques are good just like not all chains are bad. I do want you, the consumer, to have a comparison so when you are shopping you can choose the best place for you.
My first stereotype is: Small stores do not have the same selection as the big guys.
Yes, chain stores have a huge number of dresses on the rack but that doesn't mean they have a lot of variety. I only counted about 25-30 different bridal styles while I was in the store that was mentioned in part one, the rest were just the multiple sizes in the same style and color. When I went to my racks and counted, I discovered that we have more than 60 different bridal gowns hanging on the racks right now, not counting the informal and clearance dresses. I think you will find that's true for most small bridal shops. Is it likely that your gown will need to be ordered from the manufacture to get the size and color you want? Yes! But, if you allow enough time in your planning this will not be an issue, and you will have a dress that was made for you, not one that dozens of other people have already tried on. Another point I feel I should make is the chain stores stock mostly "bread and butter" dresses. What I mean by this is they stock dresses that are proven winners and have been sold thousands of times over. If you are wanting something unique, shop small the stores who are willing to take a risk and have something different on their racks. Once I sell a popular dress more than a few times I sell the sample, and then do not reorder the gown even though I could probably sell it several more times. It may not make much sense business wise but I feel our customers deserve better.
Store owner, Kelly has been in the bridal industry since 2000, when at the ripe old age of 20 she opened her first little store front on a wing and a prayer. She is a certified wedding planner (no, she does not plan weddings), and everything she knows about bridal and formal wear has come from, gut instinct, trial and error, and watching LOTS of What Not to Wear.